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F1 Brazilian GP: Massa bids emotional farewell after Brazil GP exit

Despite a bittersweet end to his final home race, Felipe Massa has described his walk back to the pit lane as 'special and amazing'.
RESULTS: Brazilian Grand Prix – Race results

Despite a bittersweet end to his final home race, Felipe Massa has described his walk back to the pit lane as 'special and amazing' as he prepares to say a final goodbye to Formula One.

The Williams driver was one of a handful of drivers to be caught out with aquaplaning climbing up the hill around the final corner and was unable to stop his car sliding into the barriers before spinning across the track and coming to a rest in front of the pit lane entry.

With the safety car called out as Massa's stricken Williams car was recovered, the hometown hero stepped out of his car in front of his adoring fans and paid tribute to their support.

His walk back to the Williams garage sparked emotional scenes as he was given a standing ovation by all the teams and fans as we was embraced by his family in a tearful reception - surely to become an iconic moment in F1 history at Interlagos.

POINTS: The F1 Drivers' & Constructors' standings after the Brazilian GP

Massa conceded it was never going to be his perfect farewell at his home race but having an impromptu ovation walking down the pit lane gave him a lasting and powerful final memory before he leaves F1.

“It is so difficult to explain the feeling by not manging to finish the race for my fans and for Brazil,” Massa said. “This is a special place for me, but I think God knows what to do. I mean stopping in the place I did was so special and so amazing, the feeling from the people here in Brazil and from the people here in the paddock, everybody that I worked for, for a very long time in my career.

“I just say thank you very much. It is an honour and a pleasure to be here and to be part of this world. So special to see these guys in the middle of the race going out just to see me passing after such a big crash. Not the right result, but thank you very much.

“I will never forget this day and all of these people and all of you guys will be inside my heart definitely for all of my life.”

Massa will now prepare to finish on a high in his final F1 race at this year's season finale in Abu Dhabi.

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by Haydn Cobb

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